In the kitchen of our new house, there is a slightly unusual extension to the side of one of the cupboards where the wall has been covered by a flat piece of veneered chipboard, the same finish as the rest of the units in the kitchen. It looks like it might have had a shelf in there at some point, but it is currently dead space and I'd like to hang some new shelves in there if possible:

photo of backing board

Behind the backing board the wall is drywall/plasterboard and I wasn't sure how to securely fasten a shelf bracket to the wall through the backing board. Normally on drywall I would use rawlplugs, but since I can't actually get to the drywall in this case, I wasn't sure if there was an alternative.

This second photo shows the unit to the immediate left of the area I'm looking at, you can see that there are some boxed in pipes that I don't really want to go drilling holes through if I can avoid it:

wider shot of kitchen units

Can anyone give me some advice?

  • It would really help if you could add another photo that shows more of the adjacent area so folks can get a better idea of just how this "backer board" is positioned relative to the other cabinetry. It would also allow others to be able to much better recommend what type of shelf attachments would be appropriate.
    – Michael Karas
    Jan 24, 2015 at 20:56
  • @MichaelKaras thanks for responding, I've added a second photo, hopefully that makes things a little clearer? Please disregard the vodka and malt whiskey, they are unrelated to the task at hand :)
    – ninesided
    Jan 24, 2015 at 21:14
  • Sorry to say but you really did not step back enough to allow us to see if this is inside a cabinet, in a corner or what the dickens is going on here. Remember, you've seen the whole thing countless times but put your self behind our eyes and you see that what you've shown so far is way too zoomed in.
    – Michael Karas
    Jan 24, 2015 at 21:18
  • @MichaelKaras I had to sit in the sink to take the new picture, but hopefully this will be more obvious! I've added a kettle for scale!
    – ninesided
    Jan 24, 2015 at 21:44
  • 2
    It looks to me like what you have there to the right side of the picture is what was the back and top of a cabinet that was once installed there but had its front, side, bottom and door removed. Maybe former owner thought the cabinet was too confining in this small area (must be small if you had to sit in the sink @^@).
    – Michael Karas
    Jan 24, 2015 at 21:49

1 Answer 1


Wall studs should be every 16". If you measure from the start of the wall where the pipes are, you should be able to hit a stud every 16" behind the backing board. I'm not sure what the pipes are that you have in your kitchen - venting maybe, but I would look for shelves that would be supported via studs through the backing board wall instead of trying to screw into the wall with the pipes.

  • this would definitely work if there were multiple studs behind the backing board, but in my case there is only one, right in the middle, which would make it difficult to fit a shelf bracket
    – ninesided
    Jan 26, 2015 at 10:18

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